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Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) comes to futuristic Alphaville, the capital of a totalitarian state, in order to destroy its leader, an almost-human computer called Alpha 60. While on his mission, Lemmy meets and falls in love with Natacha (Anna Karina), the daughter of the scientist who designed Alpha 60. Their love becomes the most profound challenge to the computer's control.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Jean Luc Godard's powerful and gritty sci fi allegory, shot in moody black and white and filled with an endless stream of ideas that underline the film's theme. Made in the style of a noir detective story, I think its themes echo with parts of George Orwell's 1984 and Stanley Kubrick's 2001. The former warns of Big Brother and in much the same way, 2001 warns of big technological brother.

In the case of Alphaville, the supercomputer of the future - Alpha 60 (soixante)- is portrayed as the antithesis of humanity, poetry, beauty and love. Its inscrutable, gravel voice will haunt you. The sterile efficiency of extreme capitalism is ridiculed with things like Class 3 Seductresses who are on standby ready to provide sexual gratification at any time of the night or day.

Godard uses Paris as the setting, suitably 'dressed' by clever cinematography and Constantine's gravely voice and equally gravely face works to set the noir tone. His character is borrowed from earlier French adventure films and Constantine happily brings that sensibility with him here. The first half of the film is especially effective when the film is in its sci-fi mystery thriller mode.

Made three years before the massive student demonstrations in France, the film foreshadows the frustrations of individuals in a society they feel is being drained of its humanity.

Published December 26, 2007

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(France, 1965)

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution

CAST: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff. Howard Vernon, Laszlo Szabo,

PRODUCER: Andre Michelin

DIRECTOR: Jean-Luc Godard

SCRIPT: Jean-Luc Godard


EDITOR: Agnes Guillemot

MUSIC: Paul Misraki


RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

PRESENTATION: (1.33:1) 4:3 letterbox (black & white)

SPECIAL FEATURES: Introduction by Professor Colin MacCabe; Alphaville Peripheries; trailer


DVD RELEASE: September 4, 2007

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